Bowling tips for beginners

10 Bowling Tips for Beginners to Improve Scores

Bowling is a fun and technical sport for anyone who dares to participate. It is a fun sport because you can enjoy bowling with your friends and loved ones. However, bowling can also be technical and competitive, especially considering the level and amount of skill needed to score points during gameplay. If you are new to the game, it might seem quite challenging. And rightly so because bowling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It takes quite some practice to get to pro bowling skill level. In this post, we are going to delve deep into some essential bowling tips for beginners. Keep reading and by the end of this post, you will have quite some idea how and where to get started in the game of bowling.

When it comes to the game of bowling, practice, and skills mastery rule. If you are only getting started, here’s everything you need to begin on the right footing.

1. Choose the right bowling ball

Choose the right bowling ball

Selecting the best bowling ball for you is the key to getting off to a good start. Consider purchasing a quality bowling ball because it is a good investment in the long run. When it comes to choosing the right bowling ball, here are the things to consider:

  • Ball weight

Often, the weight of bowling balls ranges between 6 – 16 pounds. When choosing the right one for you, the usual rule of thumb is to pick a ball that’s 10% of your body weight. However, for children, the right weight of bowling balls can be adapted in line with their weight. For instance, an 8-year-old can start with an 8-pound bowling ball.

  • Ball size

The right bowling ball for you should be such that the positioning of the holes feels comfortable for that perfect grip.

  • Type of bowling ball

Bowling balls made of urethane or reactive resin coverstock are expensive but offer premium quality and are also more durable. They are ideally suited for experienced bowlers. Beginners can start with plastic balls and advance to other types of bowling balls over time.

2. Choose the right bowling accessories

right bowling accessories

Once you have the right bowling ball, next you need to couple it with the right bowling equipment. You can get bowling accessories at your nearest pro bowling shop and don’t shy from asking for help when confronted with a tasking decision. When it comes to choosing the right bowling accessories, ensure you have comfortable clothes, fitting bowling shoes with a good sole grip, and appropriate gloves before setting foot in a bowling alley.

3. Decide on the best method for grasping the bowling ball

grasping the bowling ball

You can use either the standard or fingertip grip methods for that perfect grip of the bowling ball. In the case of a standard grip technique, all you need to do is insert the middle and ring fingers inside the bottom two holes while inserting the thumb inside the top hole. On the other hand, the fingertip grip technique entails using the fingertips to grip the ball. It’s very similar to the standard method, only that this time you only insert the tips of your fingers instead of inserting the entire finger in the bowling ball holes. It is important to choose between the two methods to improve your scores and throw quality during gameplay.

4. Aim at your target

Focusing on the pins is the most common misconception beginners make when bowling. The most reliable aiming points involve keeping track of the arrows, dots, and foul lines while lining up your shot. That’s the pro’s way. You can locate the seven arrows a third way down the bowling lane, whereas you can locate the dots halfway between the arrows and the foul line to help you line up your shot. Do not aim at the pins directly.

5. Learn how to throw a straight ball

Throwing the best straight shot involves keeping your hand straight while using gravity from the backswing to propel the ball. You can throw the best straight shot by holding your ball underneath your bowling hand, maintaining a straight backward and forward swing, and ensuring you release the ball when it gets to ankle level. The palm of your bowling hand should always face upwards during the entire swinging process.

6. Master the right bowling Footwork

It is important to take your time while approaching the bowling lane. However, be sure to keep track of the foul lines. For the perfect approach, you should always pre-plan the number of steps before releasing the ball. The standard number of steps is four for beginners and five for advanced bowlers seeking to increase the speed of the ball. Ensure you finish on the sliding foot (the foot opposite your bowling hand) to get the perfect pendulum swing before releasing the ball.

7. Practice your hook ball throw

hook ball throw

The perfect hook ball only comes after lots of practice, and you should set time to learn, practice and perfect your hook shots. Usually, hook shots take time to master. As such, some people assume that it’s the preserve of a few. However, hook shots aren’t any magic. Even novice bowlers can learn the art of hook ball throws. That being said, throwing a hook ball involves keeping your hand and wrist straight during the backward swing and rotating your fingers, wrist, and arm in the opposite direction of your body during the forward swing. Ensure you release the ball when it gets to ankle level while maintaining a straight arm motion after releasing the ball. Ensure your arm swings straight after release until your hand gets to the default handshake position.

8. Control your ball speed

Learning to control the speed of the bowling ball is essential because you need to achieve a throwing speed of between 16mph and 17mph upon impact to optimize your striking chances. Achieving the optimal bowling ball throw impact speed of 16 -17 mph requires a ball release speed of 20 – 21 mph. The difference between impact and release speeds is accounted for by friction and drag which reduces the speed of the ball while it rolls down the lane.

You can use the speed chart to calculate the speed of your bowling ball before adjusting your throw accordingly to achieve optimal ball speed. To increase the speed of the ball, consider holding it higher and taking more steps during your approach. The converse is also true when it comes to reducing the speed of the ball.

9. Practice more


Like all skills, perfecting your throws on the bowling lane takes quite some practice and more practice. Dedicate time and effort towards improving your skills in the game. Even while you are at it, it’s important to stay patient because some bowling techniques take time to stick. When your progress seems slow, always learn to keep grinding. Stay focused and practice often. If you stay persistent, dedicated, and focused, you will become a pro bowler in no time.

10. Bowling etiquette

Bowling etiquette

If you are only getting started in the game of bowling, it’s always important to note that there are some unspoken rules that you ought to be conversant with. Here’s a roundup of some common bowling etiquette rules:

  • The person on your right always takes precedence whenever two or more bowlers seem to make their approach all at the same time.
  • Always allow those on adjacent lanes to make their throws first before you make your throw.
  • While waiting for your turn to take a shot, always stay off the approach.
  • All preparations should come before you take a shot. When your turn to approach comes, no one wants to wait 10 minutes while you aim and prepare. So, prepare and make your throw as fast as possible when it’s your turn to approach the bowling lane.


Bowling, like every other game, takes practice, patience, and dedication to learn. If you stay true to the course and dedicate time and effort towards learning, you will get to pro-level bowling in no time. In this post, we summarized some essential tips to help you know what it takes to become a pro bowler. Hope you found it very insightful and informative.

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